When you think of a holiday in England, what do you think of?
For me, it’s the sheep, the Cotswolds, Her Majesty the Queen and Windsor, the rolling hills of Lancashire, and Brighton Beach.
BUT in order to visit all of these spots, you will need to be prepared.
First off, the weather in England is very annoying. The day will be cloudy, rain for five minutes, and then end with a beautiful sunset.
Second, England is VERY expensive. This is why there is an entire section in this England Packing List on what to pack if you are backpacking through England.
(Note: England is NOT Switzerland or Iceland expensive. However, expect to spend at least $150 per day. More so if you spend time in London.)
So, this all being said, let’s get this England Packing List!
Pre-Departure Checklist for England
It is required that your passport is valid for six months, AND you need to have at least two blank pages.
2. Passport Cover
Mainly to protect your passport when it rains.
3. Proof of Onward Travel
England is one of the most difficult countries to enter along with the United States, Germany and a few others. (In my personal experiences)
If you are selected for additional screening at the airport, you will either
A) show your bank account balances and this will act as proof of you being able to support yourself.
or B) Have Proof of Onward Travel. Proof of Onward Travel is something as simple as purchasing a RyanAir flight from London to Paris that will be in two months or so. Or you could show your itinerary too.
Now, if you’re lucky, you will be able to walk into the country and not talk to anyone. (Americans, for example, get 6 months of visa-free travel. Proof of onward travel is still required)
However, most other travelers are not that fortunate.
Please see this link to the UK government’s website to see which country’s need a visa for tourism purposes.
UK visas will cost up to one hundred pounds for a six-month visa, and the earliest you can apply is 3 months before your arrival date.
5. Passport Photos
Not really necessary. If you need passport photos taken, there are numerous places to do it.
6. Pictures of Passport & Credit Cards
For safety reasons, have pictures of your passport/credit card(s) in the unfortunate event of theft.
(Back your pictures up in the cloud for peace of mind! I recommend DropBox or Amazon Photos.)
Reminder: If your passport is stolen/lost, please contact your local embassy or consulate. Technically, passports are property of your home country’s government.
Embassy Location: London
Some cities that might have a consulate in England include: Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, or Birmingham. Other consulates might be in Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Please Note: This is not exhaustive list of all cities that might have a consulate in England.
Best Types of Luggage for England
Most roads outside of the city center will be asphalt, concrete, or dirt.
However, within the city center, you could encounter the occasional cobble stone road. (Most have concrete sidewalks.)
Because of this, the best type of luggage for your trip does not matter!
7. Suitcase or Backpack
Please note: If you are planning on using the train, you will need to be able to lift your personal luggage up and down the stairs. So, be careful with how much luggage you pack!
Also, the hotels are sometimes a bit far from the train station. So, only pack what you can reasonably carry on public transportation.
Clothing for a English Summer Holiday
8. 2 Pair of Pants
England is not supposed to get too hot during the summer.
And although the temperature in the South is much warmer than the North, don’t expect it to get above 34 degrees regularly. (93 Fahrenheit)
But lately, there has been over 100 degree days at Heathrow, which is very scary.
Even if the days are very hot, you will need a jacket for the evenings. If you visit York or Manchester, this will be even more important. Pack a lighter jacket
But if you are visiting someplace such as Westminster Abbey “technically” you are not supposed to.
Unlike Greece, England is not known for its beaches. However, some beautiful beaches exist on the western shores of Wales. Of course, there is the world famous Brighton Beach. (Which is accessible by train from London!)
12. 5 T-Shirts or Tops
12. Dress Clothing
London has some of the best restaurants in the world, but England is not known for its cuisine. (If you want the best British food, go to JD Weatherspoons.’) However, I will let you decide if you need formal attire for your trip to England.
Clothing for a English Winter Holiday
Despite being so far North on the globe, England does not get as much snow as you would think due to the jet stream. And even the temperatures are a bit mild. (Never really gets below 0 degrees celsius or 32 Fahrenheit)
However, this 40 degree weather is joined with a combination of rain, which makes it very dangerous for travelers.
Cold and wet means someone is more likely to get sick, which can completely ruin a trip.
So, let’s talk about everything you need to pack for a winter holiday in England!
14. 4 Pair of Pants
Unless there is an extreme heatwave, expect to wear pants most of the time.
As mentioned above, the rainy environment might influence the type of pants that you choose to bring.
Jeans and denim take longer to dry than cotton or synthetic fibers. If you intend to spend time hiking, I would suggest packing something that could be placed over your pants.
15. 1 or 2 jackets
In the evening/night, it will be cold. If I were you, I would bring a jacket for the daytime and a coat for the evening.
16. 5 T-Shirts/Tops
Warm tops such as wool sound like a great idea at first. However, the issue is drying time. Probably better to pack something light in regards to tops and a heavier, water resistant coat.
17. 0 Pair of Shorts
I cannot imagine why I would wear shorts in this weather.
20. Dress/Fancy Clothing
To each their own.
21. Under-Clothing Leggings & Tops
Layers, Layers, Layers. Anytime I travel, I always pack some form of under-layered clothings such as UnderArmour.
If it’s moisture wicking, that’s even better because you will need it. It’s not always the moisture wicking part, but also sweat.
Honestly, when it comes to cold weather, it’s just always to be hot than cold in regards to body temperature.
Best Types of Shoes for England
22. Comfortable Walking Shoes
Sandals are my go-to travel shoe, and they are acceptable in England. However, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Pick something that provides ankle support. In England, there are a lot of uneven surfaces.
23. Second Pair of Shoes
Where to buy toiletries in England?
There are a couple of places to buy toiletries in England, like Tesco and Boots.
Boots, if you are American, belongs to the same corporate family as Walgreens.
Fun Fact: The Walgreens stock ticker is WBA. This is actually Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Extra Items Needed for the Perfect English Holiday
24. Reusable Water Bottle with Filter
The water in England is drinkable. So, use your reusable water bottle.
(If you are camping, you might want to make sure you carry a water filter for micro-particles and pesticides from streams and rivers. Or just boil your water. )
25. Daypack/Backpack & Raincover
You will need something to carry your photography equipment, snacks, a few other things. For most people, this means your daypack should not be over 15L.
If you are carrying even less equipment, a sling bag might be the perfect daypack.
26. Sunscreen & Chapstick
The days in England are long during the summer. In winter, although the sun might not make an appearance, the wind will.
If you want me to show me your best photos from England, tag me on Instagram. @worldembark is my handle
The official currency of England is the Pound. However, there were not any places that were “Cash only.” (Thanks Germany for making me always second-guess if I need to carry cash.)
So, beyond carrying about 50 Pounds for miscellaneous expenses, there is not a huge need to carry paper currency.
The two most-accepted payment systems in England are Visa and Mastercard. American Express is accepted in the UK, but at a less frequent rate. (Especially outside of major cities.)
22. Travel Insurance
You will not want a bill from the NHS, as they aren’t exactly cheap for non-British nationals. (Think American Healthcare system!)
So, it’s best to always have travel insurance.
23. Sim Cards
The home of Vodafone, Simcards in England are not horribly expensive. I purchased a 20 GB (1 Month Plan) that was only data. It cost about 10 pounds per month. However, I brought my own device.
If you are American, I want to tell you something. Phone plans are almost always cheaper in country than purchasing international roaming plans.
Backpacking Essentials for English
I use the Peak Design 35 L Travel backpack. It’s water resistant, so I never had to put the rain cover on.
25. Earplugs and Sleeping Mask
Essential items for a good night sleep in a hostel.
Also, I have never recommend a hostel before, but the Urbany Hostel London is a vibe.
For those times you forget to put on sunscreen.
For those times when you don’t want to put on sunscreen.
If may not seem like you will need sunscreen in the cloudy weather, but you can still burn. Trust me.
27. Sleeping Bag
My friend always carried a sleeping bag AND a tent. I would never do that. Very few hostels allow sleeping bags/bring your own bedding due to the possibility of unseen bugs.
Now, if you want to go camping in the Lake District or take advantage of the Right to Roam up in Scotland, I completely get it.
28. Some Sort of Emergency blanket
This is probably not needed for its purpose, but you might need to repel some water at any point in your trip. (Think poncho)
29. Portable Charger
You will want a battery pack, also known as a portable charge, to keep you on the go. Most buses and trains I rode on have plug-ins. However, it’s for the day-to-day events like exploring cities and hiking.
30. More Pairs of Socks
Can never have too many. Especially if you are backpacking.
31. Microfiber Towel
Nothing fancy. But having a microfiber towel does dry quicker. Most hostels I have stayed at in England haven’t included a towel, or it cost a few pounds extra.
32. Travel Lock
I carry a few travel locks, and I recommend you do too. Even if it’s just for keeping your zippers together on your daypack.
That’s all I can think of to make sure you have the best English Holiday!
Enjoy the architecture, history, pub culture and people, as those are the things that make Enbgland a great place to visit!
Just make sure to have a plan for the rain!